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HUNGER                                              207
were incoherent outbursts of sentimentality which reflected the
realities of the situation rather less accurately than the * Indian
Love Lyrics5 of Miss Amy Woodford Finden.
What is the record of this Provincial Government—this Indian
government, elected by free and open suffrage in conditions of the
widest publicity ?
Well, it was headed during the most critical months by a gentle-
man called Mr. Fazlul Huq. Since my own views of Mr. Huq's
activities might possibly be regarded as prejudiced, it will be
sufficient to quote the opinion of him delivered by the Lord Chief
Justice in Calcutta High Court on August 24th, 1943, when his
Lordship described Mr. Huq as *unfit for public office.5 He was
summing up in an "unsavoury and disquieting' affair which was
known as the Jiaganj Rice Looting Case. Mr. Huq's connection
with this case was—to quote the Chief Justice—that while he was
Chief Minister of the Province he "criminally interfered with the
legitimate transport of rice, of which there was a grave scarcity
in the province.'
Here is the end of the summing up, quoted from the Calctttta
Statesman of August 25th :
*It was clear that Mr. Fazlul Huq, while Chief Minister, had
used his position to influence the course of justice for political
reasons. If the legitimate and proper transport of food could be
interfered with and the malefactors protected by the Chief Minister,
then there was an end of law and order in the province. At the
time this rice looting took place Mr. Huq was Minister for the
Home Department; the looted rice was intended for Berhampore
Jail; the administration of jails was a matter with which the Home
Department was charged. But neither his solemn oath nor public
responsibility prevented him from doing his nefarious works
"As far as his Lordship was aware there was no punishment in,
lawr for the breaking of the promissory oath taken, by Sir. Huq
when he assumed office as Chief Minister. But a clean violation of
it branded a man as unfit for public office. If solemn promissory
oaths by persons who took office in. the State were to be disre-
garded as mere formalities, there was no possibility of good govern-
ment . His Lordship observed :fc" J/r. Huq is left to the contemplation
and judgment of his fellow-men. ""